Episode 180 with Elizabeth Hautman

Rob- Introduction-

Welcome to episode 180 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. Perhaps you’re well trained, or simply curious about self defense. I’m Rob Morse and either way, I’m glad you found us. We’re joined this week by self-defense instructor Elizabeth Hautman. Happy new year, Elizabeth. How have you been?

Elizabeth- Hi, Rob.  I’ve been working and shooting.

Rob- We received one more rating and two comments this week on iTunes (124/77). Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let new listeners know this show is worth their time. We also had a message on the Podcast webpage from David. He gets the podcast off Stitcher, and David and his wife listen to us in the car.

Elizabeth- It is nice to hear from you, David.

We have four recent examples where gun owners were in a life threatening situation. What should we do if we were in their place? We give you the links back to the original news article in our show notes. Our first story took place last week in Lima, Ohio

Rob- First story-  Are you armed at work?  

You’re behind the counter at a convenience store. It is after dark and you’re getting ready to close. Two young men run into the store through the front door. They are wearing black sweatshirts. They have the hoods pulled over their heads and masks pulled over their faces. They have guns pointed at you. This is called a clue.

You’re armed. You present your gun and have it pointed at the end of the isle. The two robbers see your gun and they turn and run.

You holster your firearm and call the police. You show the police the store security video of the two young men.

No Shots Fired

Elizabeth- The clerk made a plan a long time ago. He thought he was at risk so he had video cameras installed. He found a firearm that fit him. Ohio has pretty good concealed carry laws, so I assume he also had a holster and a concealed carry permit. Even though it was the end of the day, he was aware when two robbers came into the store. He recognized them as an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat. He was carrying his gun on his body. Our defender drew his firearm and pointed his gun at the robbers. He stayed at the scene and didn’t chase the bad guys down the street. He called the police and prepared the security video.

Rob- That is a plan, and it worked.

Elizabeth- It did, but there are a few things I’d like our students to do if this happened to them. Move as you present your firearm. If you can, then duck down behind something that will stop a bullet. Lock the front door after the robbers run away. Then, put your gun away. If there are customers in your store, you have to see how they are doing so you know what to say to 911.

Rob- You make that sound simple. I’m thinking that I’m scared to death after someone threatened to kill me. I would have to rehearse that plan so I could get it right when I can’t think. I probably couldn’t tell 911 the name of my store.

Elizabeth- You can’t talk, at least not and make sense. The part of our brain that makes lists isn’t working when you are scared to death. Fortunately, the part of our brain that does routine things still works. Write the name and address of the store on a card and put that near the cash register. That is why we have to practice self-defense until it becomes a routine, just like opening the cash register and serving a customer is a routine for this clerk.

Rob- The clerk is ringing up a sale and talking to his customers all day long.

Elizabeth- He’s practiced those actions thousands of times.

Rob- Was the store clerk justified in pointing his gun at these two men?

Elizabeth- Our defender was outnumbered. These were two young men, so the clerk could have been overpowered. The two robbers pointed firearms at the clerk, and he can’t outrun a bullet. That is why our good guy had the right to shoot back and protect his life.
Rob- He could have pressed the trigger, but decided not to. Do you notice anything else?

Elizabeth- Our defender didn’t press the trigger. That is common, but the fact that the news reported the event is unusual. When you go to the range, I want you to also practice presenting the gun and not shooting.

Rob- Because that is what we’ll do most of the time?

Elizabeth- Because it is good practice, and because we usually don’t have to press the trigger when we face a bad guy.

Let’s go on to our second story near Nashville, Tennessee.

Rob- Second Story-  Are you armed on the street?   

You’re walking down the residential street after dark. Three men come out of the darkness, and they move toward you. One of them pulls a gun from his pocket and points the gun at you. They demand your valuables.

You’re armed. You shoot your armed attacker. Before you can shoot your other attackers, all three of them run away. You call the police.

The police find your attacker at the hospital seeking treatment.

Rob- What did our defender do correctly?

 Elizabeth-  That is three attackers against one victim.. at night. Our defender thought about his safety. Tennessee isn’t a constitutional carry state, so he probably had his permit to carry a concealed firearm in public. He had a gun and holster, and he was wearing them that night.

Our good guy protected himself when he faced a lethal threat. He stopped shooting when the bad guys ran away, and our good guy called the police and made a statement.

Rob- Our good guy was outnumbered. These criminals didn’t fight fair.

Elizabeth- They don’t fight fair. This is a residential area, so it probably wasn’t completely dark, but it probably was dim enough that you can’t see what other people are doing until they get close to you. That’s a problem. A big bright flashlight helps you see people at a distance. It also says you’re not like the last person these three thugs robbed.

Rob- I have a light in my pocket, but I don’t use it often enough.

Elizabeth- So practice more. You’ll use it once it is comfortable and familiar.

The news reports seldom tell us if the defender moved as he presented his firearm, but movement is really important. You don’t want to be in a gunfight where the bad guys get to shoot at you. Movement is critical at night because it takes a second for the bad guys to find you in the dark after you take a few quick steps back and to the side. That is when you can present your firearm and defend yourself.

Rob- Do you teach your students to move as they present their firearm?

Elizabeth-  Our third story happened in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Rob- Please support the Second Amendment Foundation at SAF.org

Rob- Third story- Are you armed when you’re driving?

You park your car and lock it. As you get out of your car, a truck pulls in behind you. A man jumps out of the truck and tells you to hand over your keys. The robber has a gun in his hands. You hand him your keys, but the robber doesn’t put his gun away. You start to run and the robber tries to shoot at you. You’re armed. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. Your armed attacker runs one way and the truck drives off in the other direction.

You’re shaken, but not hurt. You call the police.

Elizabeth-  Again, there were two bad guys robbing one good guy. They planned the attack so it was a surprise. The robber also tried to shoot first. This robbery took place a few minutes before 6 in the evening, so it was dim, but not dark.

Our defender didn’t draw his gun against a thief who had a gun pointed at him. He waited until he thought he had an opportunity to defend himself. He tried to run away, but had to defend himself once the criminals tried to shoot him. The criminals gun jammed, and that was a lucky break for our defender.

My new students are still learning to handle a gun safely. Presenting a firearm as they move isn’t automatic for them, not yet. They still have to stop and think about what to do.

Once you practice, your defense becomes smooth, fast, and you can do it while you move and think about something else, like not running into a parked car, or ducking behind a parked truck. Another advantage of practice is that you know how much time you need. I think our defender practiced and recognized an opportunity to defend himself.

Rob- Maybe the attacker looked down to fix his gun.

Elizabeth- That could be.

Another advantage of practice is that you learn where your gun is pointed. It feels like an extension of you hand, and it points at the spot where you’re looking. In the daytime, we can see the sights and we adjust our aim. At night at close distances, we use our arm and hand to aim the gun because we’ve practiced. 6:00 in the evening is between night and day. It is dim enough that you probably can’t see the sights very well. I bring that up because the story doesn’t say if the attacker was hit by our defender’s shot.

Rob- It sounds like our defender needs a little more time at the range and dry practicing. Our defender called the police.

Elizabeth- He did, but let’s back up a step. Was this a safe place for you to holster your gun, pull out your phone and put your head down? I don’t know, and the article doesn’t say. If you’re going to a store or going to visit friends, then it might be safer to step off the street to make that call.

Rob- I’d forgotten about that.

Elizabeth- Our fourth story took place in Houston, Texas.

Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed when you’re throwing a party on your front porch?

It is Friday night. Someone is cooking on the front porch. You’re talking to friends when three strangers walk up off the street. Two of them have guns out and pointed at the people at the party. They tell you to hand it over.

You have your Texas license to carry. You’re armed. You move to get a clear shot, and then draw your firearm. You shoot the armed attacker closest to you. The other two attackers run away.

Everyone calls the police. EMTs take the wounded attacker to the hospital.

  Elizabeth- The theme tonight is that bad guys attack in packs.

Rob- The average number of attackers in an assault is more than two. That means these stories are ordinary rather than exceptional.

Elizabeth- Who expects that you’re going to get robbed on the front porch of your house. These criminals saw the crowd and thought they could rob all of them. Our defender planned ahead. He was legally carrying concealed. He moved so that he wasn’t shooting at innocent people. He defended himself and the other victims at the party. He didn’t chase the bad guys, but stayed there and called police.

Rob- At least he had witnesses.

Elizabeth- So check on these witnesses to make sure they are OK. Did anyone get shot? Did anyone get trampled as they ran away? Did the criminal drop his gun, and is it lying on the ground where someone might take it and run away. Call 911 and tell them how many people are hurt. If you can, get everyone at the party to call 911. That gives the police a record of who was at the party. If you can, take a cell phone video of the scene so your lawyer knows who was there.

Rob- What do you tell the police?

Elizabeth- You just saved lives. Right now, you are on a drug induced rollercoaster ride, and the drug is called adrenaline. You have this huge urge to run away and also to be with friends and tell them what happened. It will take a couple of nights for you to come down from the adrenaline and be back to normal. That is why you have to think about what you’ll say.

Give your location and say you need the police. When they get there, say I called the police. Some men attacked us. I defended myself and my friends. The attackers ran that way. I’ll swear out a complaint, but I need to talk to my lawyer first.

Rob- You want a lawyer to present your story?

Elizabeth- You are a mess. You probably don’t know your address or where you parked your car right now. Your lawyer will take your statements and present one story, rather than presenting it piece at a time.

Rob- So you have a lawyer you can call?

Elizabeth-  I do, there are several companies that provide legal counsel when you need it, and specialize in firearms defense law.


Rob- that wraps up this episode. Elizabeth, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?

Elizabeth- I instruct in Colorado Springs at my private range in Black Forest. Contact me at Colorado Boots Firearms Instruction.

Rob- After you look at Elizabeth’s schedule, then please leave us a message on the podcast facebook page.

Elizabeth- We share this podcast with you for free. In return, we ask you to share the podcast with a friend and give us a rating on I-Tunes and Stitcher. We’re also available on Google Play Music,Tunein, Spotify, Podbean and iHeart Radio.

Rob- This podcast is part of the Self-defense radio network. Find more great shows at sdrn.us

I’m Rob Morse.  We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.




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